Friday, August 05, 2011

The whale and the osprey

This is a retelling of a west coast Native legend about the origin of the Orca.

A large black whale floated near the surface, singing and watching the clouds. The whale loved the way the clouds looked against the blue and the gray of the sky. Sometimes the whale jumped high into the sky, reaching towards those clouds. But the clouds stayed in the sky, and the whale fell back into the water.

One day, the whale watched as a piece of cloud separated and dove down, down, through the sky and into the water. A moment later, the osprey bobbed to the surface and floated for a moment, watching the whale. The whale began to sing. The osprey flew in lazy circles, watching and listening. The whale sang again. The osprey flew in higher circles. The whale gathered speed, leapt high into the air, and crashed back to the surface. The osprey waited for the water to calm, and then landed.

You wouldn't think two such different creatures would have a future, but you would be wrong. The whale and the bird both loved to soar through the air and the water. They both loved the way voices could call or chatter or sing. They both loved to dream of a big, big world.

And one day, those dreams took shape in a baby whale with a shiny black back, and a belly as white as osprey wings, a baby who loved to soar through the air and the water. A baby who loved to sing and who dreamed of a big, big world. And they called the baby, Orca.

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